Youths study careers

Manufacturing showcase

VIENNA — Fourth-to-sixth-graders spent this week seeing different manufacturing careers in the area and were able to see how engineers use a “pig” to clear gas and oil lines.

A group met at Starr Manufacturing in Vienna and not only toured the company, but also worked with staff using blueprints to create pipleline inspection gauges known as “pigs” for pushing confetti out of pipes — just as engineers would clear dirt, rust, liquid and debris out of pipelines to keep them clear.

Pigging in pipelines is the practice of using devices known as “pigs” to perform various maintenance operations such as cleaning. This is done without stopping the flow of the product in the pipeline.

Dale Foerster, vice president at Starr Manufacturing, said each child had the opportunity to use pressurized air and with their pig push the confetti out of their pipes.

“The children had a tour, safety instructions and then watched a video and worked on their pigs. They each could name their pigs, which are ping pong balls,” she said.

Pigs were named “Bugs Bunny” and other characters.

Gavin Foerster, 10, of Howland, said he liked being able to be creative and using the air pressure on the pipes.

“It was fun when it popped,” he said,

Anthony Deniro, 10, of Youngstown, said when the confetti comes out, it is very unexpected. He also liked seeing how the sheet metal and overhead crane were used at the company. Lucy Papini, 10, of Youngstown, said she liked learning safety precautions and launching the confetti from the pipes.

“The children enjoyed the launching and learned the importance of wearing safety glasses because the confetti was going all over the place,” Dale Foerster said.

Emily Coelho, youth program manager at YWCA Mahoning Valley, said the Summer Manufacturing Institute coordinated with the YWCA and OH! WOW Children’s Center in Youngstown visits to local manufacturers. She said children also will do their own projects which will be shown today at presentations for families.

The program is three weeks with a different theme each week and after visiting manufacturers, children take what they have seen and learned and use it for the build projects they are working on.

“This week was alternative energy. They are building a structure and foundation and choose an energy source such as solar panels or wind turbines,” Coelho said.

“The children will be launching using pressurized air at the YWCA and showing their parents what they have learned,” Foerster said.

Mike Homchosky, sales / engineer with Starr Manufacturing, said pig launchers are an essential product produced for the oil and gas industry.

An additional program still has openings by calling 330-746-6361.